When you feel that your marriage is falling apart, it can be easy to feel like you’re the only one fighting the battle to save it. One of our most basic needs is not to fall in love, but to feel loved by another person. When that notion is shaken and you have started to doubt your spouse’s ability or desire to do so, it can feel very overwhelming. We all want to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not by something that is simply rooted in instinct.
When there are tensions in a marriage, the divide between two spouses can grow at an alarming rate, but I am here to tell you that it doesn’t not automatically mean that your relationship is doomed. As a dedicated love and relationship coach, I am here to help guide you through this tumultuous period and provide you with tools for analyzing the situation and pinpointing solutions.
In today’s article, I am going to go over what being the only one who wants to fight for this relationship’s survival entails, and what techniques are available to you to help turn things around. As I like to remind my clients, you are in control of more than you might realize, so let’s take a look at what needs to happen from here on out. It is our goal to provide you with guidance, answers, and the tools you need to help you to coach yourself through this crisis and ensure that you come out on top.
Understanding how to save your marriage by yourself
Chances are that you’ve been dealing with problems in your marriage for quite some time now. The good news is that you’ve gone out of your way to search for solutions and you aren’t just sitting back and waiting for things to get fixed on their own. As you’ve come to understand, problems in a marriage don’t get fixed on their own and serious relationships require maintenance. Right about now your head is probably swimming with questions like, “Can I save my marriage alone” and “Will this work if I’m the only one trying? It can feel like quite a weight on your shoulders, but I do want to reassure you that where there is a will, there is a way.
Saving a marriage alone by understanding love
I know that you need to be loved by someone who chooses to love you. By someone who sees something worth loving in you. This is why it feels so frustrating to be in this situation. You’ve already built so much, you’ve already shared so much, and you had such high hopes for your future, and now it feels like it’s all falling apart. To be very clear, a love with a solid foundation that will withstand the test of time will require effort and discipline. You have to make a choice to expand energy in an effort to bring joy and fulfillment to your husband or wife’s life.
In addition to this, by knowing that their life has become enriched by your efforts and your presence, you too will find a sense of gratification and satisfaction. It is the type of give and take that preserves the bond between two people, contrary to a “me first” attitude that we unfortunately see so often. It is all too easy to become selfish in love and neglect your partner and relationship. Fortunately, this can be undone even if it has already crept into your relationship. The key here is to understand that you are in control of your own actions, and though it might feel like you are in this alone right now, that can be changed. We cannot control your partner’s actions, that’s for sure, but you can control yours.
Standing for your marriage alone: Empathy
When you’re thinking about how to save a marriage alone, it’s important to remember that you’ve got to practice empathy. Being able to put yourself in your husband or wife’s shoes will give you insight into what he or she is experiencing, and therefore what kind of solutions would have the most impact. It is so common for a married couple to forget that a marriage is a relationship; not a project to be completed or a problem to be solved. The marriage should be viewed as a longterm commitment and not a series of fires that constantly need to be controlled or put out.
When a disconnect forms between two people in a marriage, it is often because they are unable to put themselves in each other’s shoes. The result is often that they end up feeling like opponents instead of teammates.
How to save a marriage when only one is trying
Let’s take a look at why it feels like you’re the only one fighting for this marriage to survive. It’s important to always have a clear understanding of the entire situation so that you can pinpoint the best solutions. Many people have the tendency to want to take matters into their own hands and try to fix everything on their own. There are a lot of situations in which I see that people really want to be in control of the situation and will try to fight the fight alone. I remember speaking with Charles about two weeks ago.
He came to me for help with saving his marriage and one of the things he said to me really stood out. He felt like it was his sole responsibility to save this marriage, because he was the one who asked his wife to marry him and share a life. The fact that things were rocky in the marriage was making him panic and feel like he had failed in his duties as a good husband.
So he said, “Adrian I need to know how to save this marriage on my own. I can’t ask anything more of my wife because she has suffered enough. So can you teach me how to save my marriage and make sure that I can make her happy again?” I know that this marriage is precious to you and that you want to do everything in your power in order to save it.
There is another common situation that I come across in my one on one coaching sessions with clients. Many times, I person comes to me asking, “Can this marriage be saved” or about how to fix a broken marriage because they are the ones who did something that resulted in the current state of affairs. Because they feel so guilty about the state that the marriage is in and whatever they did that is directly responsible for the demise of the relationship, they feel that they need to know how to save a marriage alone.
When it comes to saving a marriage, there is something very important that we need to keep in mind. Marriage is a two-way road, and that that means you need to be operating as a team to find a long-term solutions together. Though you may have done something that caused a very negative shift in the relationship, there are usually underlying issues that played a role in how and why things went south.
Like anything of value in this life, a relationship requires maintenance and effort and you both need to work towards a common goal together. This is what reinforces the complicity between you and makes the bond stronger. If there is only one person working towards fixing a relationship and the other person just watches and waits, it can actually start to build a bit of resentment between you.
The person who’s struggling to save the marriage alone can begin to resent the other person, especially if it feels like the other person is not willing to put forth the effort to patch things up. What’s more, just patching things up isn’t going to cut it. When a marriage encounters a crisis like this, it’s important to look at it as a wake up call and do what is necessary to establish a more solid foundation.
The thing about these challenging situations is that very often they are actually blessings in disguise. I know that that almost sounds ridiculous to you right now when you are in the thick of it, but when things feel like they’re upside down but you’re still thinking, “I’m the one who wants to be with you,” you will see how much you are willing to fight for this relationship, you will zero in on what changes need to be made, and all of these things will serve towards establishing a more solid foundation.
The result will be that your relationship becomes stronger than ever before, and you’d be surprised at how many people get in touch with me again after the fact to tell me that they’re happier that ever before and that their relationship is now more solid than it’s ever been. But the point I really want to make to you right now is that if you are experiencing marriage problems, both of you are going to have to work together towards finding and implementing longterm solutions.
That is not to say that you have to make less of an effort! The point here is that one person is not responsible for the happiness of both people in the relationship. We are all responsible for our own actions, and a married couple whose relationship is going to withstand the test of time is going to have to work together as a team. This reminds me of a quote that I saw recently that I really liked. “It is not you vs. your partner. It is you and your partner vs. the problem.”
My marriage is falling apart: Focusing on understanding one another
A recurring pattern and that I see in marriages that are falling apart has to do with the underlying reason for wanting to save the marriage. Sometimes a person who is “in love” with their spouse is not genuinely interested in fostering the personal growth of the other person. They’re more interested in preserving the relationship so that they can protect themselves against being lonely in the future.
This is one of the main things we need to keep in mind when it comes to thinking about saving a marriage alone and the importance of your reasoning behind it. I bring this up because I often encounter emotional dependency in my coaching sessions, so once again, we need to remember the importance of working as a team and finding common solutions to the issues at hand.
Many times a person will find themselves in a situation where they aren’t sure about whether or not they should stay in this marriage. If you are unsure, I highly recommend reading this article on when to get a divorce. If you are certain that you are ready and willing to fight for this marriage, here are some of the most powerful tools you can begin implementing starting today.
How to save your marriage alone by understanding your partner
When tensions are running high in the relationship, you can start by focusing on what makes your partner tick. What are the specific things, people, activities and places that bring your husband or wife joy? What type of behaviors, actions, and situations could rub your partner or the wrong way? As I was saying above, empathy is the greatest and simplest tool and relationship recovery.
It’s all about being able to put yourself in your husband or wife’s shoes and being able to understand them. It’s far too easy to launch into attack mode when you are only focusing on how you see this situation. The more defensive we are the easier it is to get into fights and arguments with our significant others.
But if you’re able to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and understand what they’re feeling, it can help you to define more productive solutions and means of communication. And empathy isn’t only about understanding your partner’s negative feelings! Pay attention to their hobbies and passions, and all the things that bring them joy. Encourage them to spend more time on these things and do what you can to ensure that your partner is genuinely happy. Many marriages suffer because the two people involved lose track of their personal lives.
They start to neglect all the things that they used to do that brought them joy when the relationship takes precedent in their lives, and the result is that an imbalance develops. So if you want to know how to fix your marriage, and even if you’re trying to figure out how to save your marriage alone, you’ve got to think about what you can do to understand your partner better. Can you try to see things from his or her point of view?
My marriage is falling apart: Don’t confuse communication with neediness
Issues with communication is one of the biggest problems I see in marriages on regular basis. As you can imagine, encountering marriage problems will require communication with your partner. While it is true that actions speak louder than words, Communication needs to be established in order for you to find some clarity and get on the same page.
Sometimes we make the mistake of assuming that our partner understands what we feel and what we want, and we end up forgetting that nobody can read minds. The same is true when you are trying to figure out what is bothering your husband or wife. Sure, it would be great if you could just their mind and instantly know what they’re feeling at any given moment, but the fact of the matter is that you two need to communicate. Sometimes this presents a roadblock to a person because they worry about being needy.
They know that neediness and clinginess are two of the most common things that are responsible for putting out the flame in the relationship, so they feel like they don’t want to run the risk. They don’t want their partner to feel more suffocated or frustrated than they already are. So in the end they try to figure out how to save a marriage alone!
So be careful to avoid confusing communication with neediness. It is possible to communicate in a productive way without suffocating your significant other, and there does need to be dialogue between you two. Now, we need to pay attention to how this dialogue takes place. When you are in the process of trying to save your relationship with your husband or wife, it is very natural that you would want to speak with them often and perhaps frequently asked them if they are happy.
This is the thing you need to avoid because in the majority of cases, these questions are being asked more so that you can ease your anxiety than so that you can fix the situation. When you are coming from a place of anxiety you run the risk of being needy. When you come from a place of problem- solving and teamwork, you can make progress. The problem with neediness in these types of situations is that it can make your spouse feel like the more dominant or powerful partner, which can cause them to lose attraction to you and the relationship.
Make sure your partner feels understood when you want to save this marriage
Following in line with the importance of communication, we also need to think about how to ensure that your partner feels heard and understood by you. With everything going on it is all too easy to get wrapped up in our own thoughts, our own feelings, our own situation, our own desires etc. But if you want this relationship to survive, your partner needs to feel that they can be understood by you.
A lot of times people don’t want to hear their partner out because they don’t want to hear any criticism. Well, as I already said, none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Every single one of us has room for improvement. So being open to hearing your partner’s frustrations and accepting criticism can actually provide you with the key to saving this marriage. By accepting your husband or wife’s frustrations with you and with the relationship, you can actually determine the best ways in which you can fix it, ease the tension, and save your relationship!
Using reflective listening when your marriage is falling apart
The truth is that actually listening to what the other person has to say is one of the most sincere form of respect! I like to encourage my clients to engage in reflective listening, which basically consists of reassuring their partner that their words are not going in one ear and out the other. Reflective listening is essentially the act of repeating back to someone, in your own words, what they have just said.
The idea here is to 1. Check to see if you’ve heard them correctly 2. Help them realize that you are truly listening to them. The simplest way to do this is to repeat back what your partner is saying to you. For example, “So what you’re saying is that you feel neglected in the relationship and that I could make more of an effort to carve time out for us. Okay, this is something I am going to work on.” Of course, this needs to be followed up by concrete actions because if not, things could actually get worse because your partner thinks you’re giving them empty promises.
“Being listened to and heard is one of the greatest desires of the human heart. And those who learn to listen are the most loved and respected.” – Richard Carlson
Save my marriage: Do not bury emotions
I know you want your partner to hear what you have to say, understand it, and really take it into account as well! It is important that you both do this together and develop positive patterns in your relationship. The more you make an effort to understand one another, the easier it is for this to be a common practice.
Simply put, the more you do this, the more natural it will become. In addition to this, another thing I want to bring your attention to the importance sure that you are never suppressing emotions. This often feels like an easy way out or a quick fix, but burying or hiding your frustrations can actually do quite a bit of damage. Ignoring, dismissing, for suppressing your emotions doesn’t get rid of them; it just buries them beneath the surface. It tucks them away to fester and arise again at a later time, often in a more amplified state.
The longer something is allowed to fester beneath the surface, the larger it can become. So when you recognize and validate your emotions instead, not only do you nip them in the bud, you strip away all of the judgment responses. Instead of being subjected to the “I’m bad,” “This is wrong,” or “I shouldn’t” responses, your experience will simply flow through you and won’t remain stuck beneath the surface. This will help you quiet the inner critic and live a more present and enjoyable life.
A person’s criticism is often a clue about their deepest emotional needs
Another thing to keep in mind is that people tend criticize their spouses most loudly in the areas in which they have the deepest emotional needs.
It is basic human nature to need appreciation and acceptance. We all feel an inner draw towards this, regardless of how independent, confident, or self sufficient we may be, and this is one of the most important things to keep in mind when saving a relationship.
Generally speaking, men and women have different emotional needs in the relationship and it’s easy to neglect these things (especially if you are unaware of them). For example, to not be needed is a slow death for man, and a marriage can be doomed the moment a husband feels that he is no longer needed by his spouse. If a woman is afraid of not being emotionally supported, she can unknowingly push away the support that she needs from her spouse. We are all governed by our emotions to a certain extent, but we can all learn how to keep our emotions from taking control, and we can adapt our behavior and reactions in order for our relationships to reach their full potential.
What’s more, if you pay attention to your spouse’s criticisms of you, it can actually be a clear clue about his or her primary love language. Every single one of us has their own love language and when we aren’t speaking the right one to each other, it can be easy to develop a disconnect and you might fid that your marriage is suffering.
To give you an idea, here are the five love languages:
1. Words of affirmation
These consist of words that are used to build someone up, reassure them about your love for them, and show them what they mean to you.
2. Quality time
Quality time is giving someone your full attention. In our busy society, many people don’t feel like they get to spend enough time with their partners, and this is especially important for those of us whose love language is quality time.
3. Receiving gifts
For some people the strongest indicator of a person’s love is tangible symbols of their love.
4. Acts of service
Acts of love are things that your spouse would really like you to do. It doesn’t have to be grandiose gestures – it can be simple actions that show him or her that you care and that they’re on your mind.
5. Physical touch
Physical touch is quite straight forward and we all know that it is a powerful way to communicate your love for someone.
In order to save the marriage, it is important that you listen to and respond to your partner’s love language, and meet their deepest emotional needs!
How to fix my marriage: Leading by example
If you know in your heart that in order to save this marriage, your spouse is going to need to change too, then you need to be the example for that change. We need to keep in mind that we are dealing with people, who are not creatures of logic. Human beings are creatures of emotion who bristle with prejudices, preconceived notions, baggage, pride and vanity.
It’s not uncommon to be dealing with someone who does not see the fault in their ways, and assumes that they are completely right. It is actually quite hard to put yourself in another person’s shoes and perhaps your spouse struggles with this.
So you’ve got to show your spouse that change is possible. If they can see concrete changes in you, you can inspire organic changes in them as well.
There are a variety of things that you can start implementing in your daily life in order to make a positive shift in the situation with your spouse, even when things have been feeling discouraged lately.
This reminds me of one of our recent clients, Stephanie. She reached out to us because she wanted to save her relationship more than anything, but her husband, Yvonne, just wanted out. The more she tried and pushed to talk about their problems with him, the less interested and more frustrated he became.
It was not until she realized that she had to make significant adjustments to her approach, and be consistent about the changes that have been implemented, that she started to feel Yvonne warming back up to her. He began asking her to join him on the couch for movies and eventually began cuddling her when he slept in the bedroom. The change was gradual but powerful, and know both of them are happily committed to one another. This story brings us to our first tip for saving a marriage.
How to fix a broken marriage: Being consistent about your positive changes
It’s dangerously easy to change for a few weeks and then fall back into the same negative patterns that put your relationship in trouble in the first place. After all these years of working as a love and relationship coach, I can confidently tell you that consistency equals credibility. If you want to save your marriage, and even if your spouse is not trying, it’s important to know that every change you decide to implement for the sake of saving the relationship must stick around!
You must prove your changes are consistent so that your partner will believe that they will be permanent. There is nothing worse then finding yet another reason to be disappointed in the person you’re with. Without this crucial element, it will be very challenging for your partner to restore their faith in this marriage.
Making your spouse feel important when you want to save the marriage
When tensions are high in a relationship, people often tend to avoid each other. They know that things are rocky so they don’t want to be in situation that feels stressful or exhausting. Unfortunately, this can end up making someone feel even more neglected and disconnected from the marriage.
The golden rule is to treat others the way that we want to be treated, and if you want your partner to make you feel important, you need to make them feel important – and do it sincerely.
Think about how people will talk to us for hours if we allow them to talk about themselves. If you can make people feel important in a genuine way, then you can really reinforce the bond between you.
So when you want to know how to save this marriage by yourself, talk in terms of the other person’s interests. A surefire way to get to a person’s heart is to talk about what they treasure. Be careful to never belittle the things that your partner is passionate about (even if it might sound silly to you!) Your partner wants to be supported by you so If you talk to them about what they are interested in, they will feel valued and will value you in return.
So encourage your partner to talk about themselves – what they like, what they feel, what they need… and actively work on being a good listener. In order to become a good listener, you have to really care about what your partner is saying. This all is part of proper communication with your husband or wife and mastering this tool will bear its fruit in the long run.
Reinvent yourself to save your marriage
For many people, when a relationship takes precedent in their life, they lose track of their passions and hobbies, they stop carving out time to spend with their friends and family and their professional and personal goals get placed on the back burner. The result is that the relationship can become very monotonous and predictable, and two partners can begin to drift apart. Think about it this way, if you stop being the person that your ex fell in love with in the first place, it can be hard for them to maintain the same attraction for you.
This is why it’s so important for you to keep your personal life alive. What’s more, if you can reinvent yourself and start incorporating new activities in addition to these projects and hobbies, you will spark your partner’s interest. If you inspire yourself, you will start inspiring them also. People are attracted to people are attracted to themselves and what they bring to the table!
If you can become the new and improved version of the person that your spouse fell in love with in the first place, you will become irresistible to them.
Let’s work together if you fear your marriage is over
If your goal is to save and repair your relationship and restore it to its former glory, all you have to do is get in touch with us. Every single marriage is unique and has its own intricacies, and by working together we can pinpoint the exact problems and define concrete solutions to help you reach your goal. We can provide you with powerful tools and techniques alongside a detailed action plan so that you know what approach to use in each specific phase of relationship recovery.
Join The Happily Committed Project and transform your relationship before it’s too late and move forward in a dignified and meaningful way. Together we can work on reaching your goal by providing you with a clear-cut action plan that has been tailor-made to fit your relationship, your situation, and your specific needs. As a team of dedicated love and relationship experts, we are here to guide you from A to Z and answer all of your questions. We have even created a special product to help you reignite the flame in your relationship that you can access by clicking here!
Wishing you all the best in life and love,
Your coach when you want to know how to save your marriage alone